In a rapidly changing world, we have become an information society. Around the world people are struggling with racial discrimination and violations of human rights. The tragedies of Alton Sterling from Louisiana and Philando Castile from Minnesota, both black men, caused an anti-racism movement in the United States. When police officers subdued Alton Sterlin someone shouted, "He has a gun". The police pulled out a gun on his chest and fired three shots.
In Louisiana and across the country black people have expressed their anger for excessive force used by police on black people. This event made even more angry black Americans erupt. On July 6th, 2016 in Minnesota, Minneapolis, Philando Castile was pulled over by the police because of a broken taillight. Castile announced, "I have a gun" to a police officer who was standing outside his vehicle. As he tried to show his ID from his wallet the police shot and killed him. A life was ended as the result of the abuse of public authorities. These incidents have occurred again and again causing black people to resist against the police. They are against the abuse of public power and racial discrimination. Many protests across the United States have people shouting, "Black Life is also precious!" On July 7th, 2016, a massive protest arose in Dallas, Texas where five police officers were shot dead and eleven others were wounded by a sniper. The protest was against police brutality in the wake of the two fatal shootings of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
The United States was shocked by the incident. President Obama said that the United States government and society needs to create a society which respects every one of all cultures where human rights are respected without discrimination.
These problems are not only in the United States. Racism problems have been a hot social issue in the UK since Brexit is emerged. Last month during the period of July 16-30, 3076 racist incidents were reported in the UK, an increase of 42% compared to the same time period last year when 2161 cases were reported. Late last month many cards were scattered that said, “Polish pests stop”. Colored races were told to leave the UK. A fire broke out in a barn next to a Polish family living in Plymouth. Fortunately no one was injured but sadly this family received a letter that said, “Got back to Poland”. The suspected cause is arson. These problems have been occurring at a higher rate since the vote for Brexit became a top issue. Brexit is the name that describes Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The British blamed other races for their problems. If everyone understood each other this would not have happened.
What kind of interest does Korea have on issues of racism and human rights violations? Let's see the results of an investigation in a news release. Only 52% of the sample group expressed interest about racial is crimination and violations of human rights problems.
There is a large number of Korean citizens who aren’t concerned about these matters. They wonder why our country should care about this issue. Maybe they don’t realize that racial discrimination and human rights abuse are continually happening in our surroundings. The Baengnamgi Farmers incident which occurred on May 14th, 2015 is a prime example of abuse by public power.
On November 14, 2015, Baengnamgi farmers held a demonstration to raise questions about labor rights, the Sewol Ferry tragedy, and human rights for youth and students at Gwanghwamun. At the event demonstrators were sprayed with tear gas. Police also fired the water cannon on the people. One man who was unable to resist was continually sprayed collapsed in the street. Others who tried to help him collapsed as well. The state of the Baengnami farmer became more serious and eventually emergency treatment was given but it was late. When the news reported that he was in critical condition, the government conducted a hearing but nothing came of it. The Korean government is not taking any action on this and is not issuing an apology. The Government of the Republic of Korea did not do anything. In addition, we must resolve the discrimination cases of foreign workers, LGBT human rights, gender discrimination, and disability discrimination.
The following is the content of Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN human rights conventions about the hate crime of race or religion, etc. "We are committed to respect and ensure the rights recognized in the Covenant, without distinction of any kind due to race, religion." There are rules that must have legislative action in each country and Korea must also keep up the International Covenant signatories of the United Nation as well. In addition, we must make a substantial bill to implement the international convention.
These days, there are serious human rights and racial discrimination problems. Solving problems depends on the way you look at things. Why not bring a little more attention to the discrimination happening in our country? If we pay attention maybe we will be able to switch to a better future.